What the stringer did next.

Blog time : it’s mid September 2021 and i’m temporarily living in something like a large dog kennel cum upturned boat – by all accounts a ‘glamping pod’…..us being on our jolly holidays in Norfolk UK. Just to put your minds at ease it is in fact raining hard here and quite soon we’re going to pretend to be ‘elder’ holidaymakers in that we’re going to drive down to the creek and watch the ducks…..or whatever while sipping tea in the rain. That’s a very British thing to do by the way closely followed by going to the cafe and drinking tea (mine’s a coffee btw) and later on going to the pub and drinking some beer while watching it rain outside. Just to cap it all i’m feeling pretty rough as well having had very little sleep in the last few weeks plus the finger infection problem : on a more positive note though it’s supposed to be mostly sunny for the rest of the week so that’s good.

We are in fact in one of my favorite places for a holiday – the north Norfolk coast somewhere between Burnham Overy Staithe and Cley with Wells and Blakeney being right at the center of it all. Given that i grew up not very far from here in east Anglia it’s strange that we never came here for family holidays but i did come to Wells once on a school camping trip ; equally i still haven’t sailed on this coast or even canoe’d in one of the creeks and it would be a superb place for messing about in a small boat. Boats here there are a plenty, and most of them are the small ones that i find so appealing in fact aside from a couple of medium sized cruising boats in Wells it’s all small boats here. However….despite there being lots of small boats here – from the near ubiquitous Drascomes , dinghy parks full of racing dinghy’s and such like we only saw 2 boats out actually sailing in all the time we were here. Norfolk i think is one of those strange ‘lifestyle’ places to live or more often to own a holiday cottage and with that seems to come the ‘lifestyle’ boat. In fact now i think about it this is our third trip here and i can still count on one hand the number of times iv’e seen any of the many boats out sailing.

A couple of evenings later, Blakeney quay.

Blakeney quay, Norfolk UK

On the bench.

I had a manic last week at home before packing the kit for our trip – long working days too sorting out the stringer problem that i talked about in the previous post. John the timber guy turned my order for new material around almost overnight and it just worked out that my partner had to go that way so she did me a great service in collecting the new stock for the stringers. In a matter of a few days i prepared the new stock with end chamfers, cut out each of the frames a bit more to accommodate the wider laminated stringer and then set to gluing and clamping the 6 new pieces one at a time……me needing to use every clamp i owned and even then just doing one stringer lamell at a time. The job itself went surprisingly smoothly – the stock being whippy enough to mostly bend by hand and only needing a bit of pulling in with an easy clamp ; the whole job took most of 2 days going from side to side and then waiting for glue to cure ……in between though i was able to use the time between stringers to start on the next main job at the back of the boat.

Last stringer lamell (port side) goes in – the whole structure is beginning to look complex now.

Port bilge chine stringer laminated in-situ (3 lamells)

My big push at the back of the boat was to loft, cut and fit the cockpit seat sides and then fit the 2 small half frames that sit either side of the cockpit area. Both cockpit sides and the 2 half frames rely on the bilge/chine stringer for their placement and ultimate strength so it was good to get the first one on while the glue was curing on the last stringer. Then, on the last day before we left i succeeded in fastening the last 2 half frames in place…..all glued, screwed and epoxy filleted in place ; more psychologically important to me though is that all of the frames are now in and the boat is joined from stem to stern.

Last of all while i was waiting for some glue to set i even managed to use some time and a piece of otherwise wasted timber (the old broken stringer) to make and dry fit the first 2 bunk-flat supports , then, just for fun i set a board temporarily across those and carefully climbed into the boat and sat and had my coffee just where i hope to someday sit at anchor.

Good progress but bloody tired…….

Cockpit seat fronts and the final 2 half frames go in.

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